Malta's harmonized consumer price index rose 3.9% year-on-year in March, at a faster pace compared to a 3.5% increase in February, the National Statistics Office said Thursday.

On an annual basis, prices increased the most for utilities, by 16%. This was followed by an 11.3% climb in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages. However, prices of transport fell 3.4%, and that of recreation and culture declined 1.9%.

On a monthly basis, the HICP was up 1.5% in March compared to a 0.8% rise in the previous month. Clothing and footwear showed the fastest increase in prices, rising 5.6%, followed by a 5.1% rise in prices in hotels and restaurants. Prices of most other groups increased, but prices slipped 0.4% in transport.

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